News & Insights

Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association wins tourism awards; tourism spending up 8% in 2016

Watkins Glen – The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) recognized individuals and organizations for their high level of excellence and accomplishments in New York State’s tourism industry at the 2017 Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner, held recently at the Glen Club of the Watkins Glen International race track.

The Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association (SCVA) was recognized with the award for Excellence in Tourism Marketing, for its rebranding and marketing initiatives of the Sullivan Catskills.

The NYSTIA awards committee selected SVCA for its aggressive and integrated marketing that included investment in a new website, building social media platforms, and creating a national press presence to entice potential visitors to choose the Sullivan Catskills.

“SCVA has made huge strides this year by partnering with some of the most talented marketing agencies – Fisher Mears Associates, The Door, Finn Partners and True Food Collective. Not to mention our continued work with I Love NY and Brand USA to host familiarization trips (FAMS) from China, Scotland, Australia, Germany, Ireland and the UK to increase international visits to the Catskill region” Herb Clark, vice president, Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, said.

The committee took note of the program goals including increasing visitor travel and spending both domestically and internationally, increasing the sales tax for Sullivan County and New York State, and providing a quality of life for residents.

In 2015, Sullivan County saw a 4.4 percent increase in visitor spending. In 2016, this increase rose to eight percent over 2015. The 2017 projections utilizing bed tax collection has seen a $100,000 increase over 2016 for the same period. Visitor requests, social media and press stories have all seen increases, too.

The consistent message of “Sullivan Catskills” as a tourism destination is resonating with millennials while securing other niche markets. The work by SCVA to promote destinations and attractions within its borders is creating a ripple effect, increasing visitation to the entire Catskills Region and Upstate New York, a major goal of Governor Cuomo and I Love New York.

“These are exciting times for the Sullivan Catskills and SCVA is fully committed to expanding the brand and leveraging more opportunities for our members,” Roberta Byron Lockwood, president and CEO, Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association, said. “The Catskill region is garnering amazing press attention – and we’re delighted to have a hand in making that happen. We’ve only just begun.”

For more information on the Sullivan Catskills, please visit